A little while back I took up my first freelance writing job with Taiken Japan, a Japanese travelogue site where foreign residents in Japan write about all the fantastic little things they find here. Not that it’s hard. Japan is filled with so many treasures, big and small, that even living here for five years I’ve only just scratched the surface.
Still, there are a few places that have touched such a soft spot in our hearts that Alex and I have visited them more than a few times while living here, even though they are somewhat out of the way and a pain to get to. In fact, that they are out of the way and a pain to get to might be precisely why we like going there. Tourists–even Japanese tourists–are comparatively rare, and the atmosphere is quiet and quaint, just the sort of place a writer might like to go for a few hours of relaxing escape to hammer out a few more pages.
Arima onsen is perhaps my favorite of these little weekend getaways that we’re fond of. An onsen is traditionally a natural hot spring, but the word can also mean water that is pumped out of a natural hot spring and used for a public bath. Arima is a hot spring resort town near Kobe that is absolutely filled with small town charms and delights. To read more about Arima, check out my Taiken article here.
And if you can’t wait, here’s a little gallery of pictures to give you a taste of just how charming this hot spring town is: